SMSF property spruiker sentenced in Brisbane District Court
A former Queensland property developer has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of six counts of fraud involving SMSF funds.
On 26 November 2020, Craig Kirrin Gore was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years, ASIC has reported in a public statement.
Mr Gore was previously found guilty of six counts of fraud involving amounts totalling $345,000 following a five-day, judge-alone trial at the Brisbane District Court.
ASIC stated that Mr Gore was initially arrested on 14 April 2017 after being charged with fraud relating to obtaining funds from SMSF investors during 2013 and 2014.
“ASIC’s case focused on Mr Gore obtaining funds from SMSF investors through his role at Arion Financial Pty Ltd,” said the corporate regulator.
“Investors were presented with information that they could invest in debentures, with various promises that included a guaranteed return, high returns, and that the funds could be returned after a short-term period of investment.”
Upon sentencing, Judge Byrne remarked that SMSF investors legitimately save and invest for their retirement and that it is an aggravating factor that these funds were being targeted.
Judge Byrne further noted deterrent sentences are necessary to reassure SMSF investors that those convicted of dishonestly dealing with their funds will be punished accordingly.
ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes said, “ASIC will continue to pursue criminal cases of fraud to take action against dishonest conduct especially where savings for retirement are at risk.”
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after an investigation and referral of a prosecution brief by ASIC.
Prior to sentencing, Mr Gore lodged an appeal for the earlier guilty verdict. No dates have been set for the appeal.
According to ASIC, Mr Gore also faces three charges of acting in the management of three corporations, including MOGS Pty Ltd, Sleipner Financial Pty Ltd and Arion, while disqualified from doing so.
Those matters did not form part of the fraud trial and will return to the Magistrates Court for mention on 27 November 2020.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.